In silico cloning of genes encoding neuropeptides, neurohormones and their putative G-protein coupled receptors in a spider mite

Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2012 Apr;42(4):277-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2011.12.009. Epub 2011 Dec 28.


The genome of the spider mite was prospected for the presence of genes coding neuropeptides, neurohormones and their putative G-protein coupled receptors. Fifty one candidate genes were found to encode neuropeptides or neurohormones. These include all known insect neuropeptides and neurohormones, with the exception of sulfakinin, corazonin, neuroparsin and PTTH. True orthologs of adipokinetic hormone (AKH) were neither found, but there are three genes encoding peptides similar in structure to both AKH and the AKH-corazonin-related peptide. We were also unable to identify the precursors for pigment dispersing factor (PDF) or the recently discovered trissin. However, the spider mite probably does have such genes, as we found their putative receptors. A novel arthropod neuropeptide gene was identified that shows similarity to previously described molluscan neuropeptide genes and was called EFLamide. A total of 65 putative neuropeptide GPCR genes were also identified, of these 58 belong to the A-family and 7 to the B-family. Phylogenetic analysis showed that 50 of them are closely related to insect GPCRs, which allowed the identification of their putative ligand in 39 cases with varying degrees of certainty. Other spider mite GPCRs however have no identifiable orthologs in the genomes of the four holometabolous insect species best analyzed. Whereas some of the latter have orthologs in hemimetabolous insect species, crustaceans or ticks, for others such arthropod homologs are currently unknown.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Arthropod Proteins / genetics*
  • Insect Hormones / genetics
  • Insulins / genetics
  • Invertebrate Hormones / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / genetics*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / genetics*
  • Oligopeptides / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics*
  • Tetranychidae / genetics*


  • Arthropod Proteins
  • Insect Hormones
  • Insulins
  • Invertebrate Hormones
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Oligopeptides
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • crustacean cardioactive peptide
  • hyperglycemic hormone, crustacean
  • periviscerokinin
  • allatostatin
  • neuropeptide F
  • orcokinin
  • proctolin
  • allatotropin
  • eclosion hormone